Much is known about the life of the famous Italian jeweler, sculptor, painter, musician, warrior, and writer Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571).
Firstly, thanks to his autobiography (it is translated into Russian so that you can enjoy). Secondly, thanks to numerous portraits of the master, including self-portraits - sketches, paintings, sculptural images. Thirdly, thanks to Alexandre Dumas. Well, yes, do you think that the famous novelist could have passed such a bright personality? In the 19th century, Cellini’s memoirs were read in Italy and France, so Dumas tried to use what he read for his novel “Ascanio”.
Well, in the XIX century it was impossible to write as frankly as in the XVI, therefore Dumas thoroughly ennobled his hero. Although he is quick-tempered and proud and not restrained, only the villains need to fear this. And the hero himself is so noble and magnanimous that he is ready to sacrifice his happiness for the sake of the student’s and his girlfriend’s happiness.
Of course, this image was far from reality, although the truth was told about Chelini’s proud and hot temper. Dumas just slightly softened the temper of his hero.
1516 - Cellini has not yet turned sixteen, and he has already been expelled from his native Florence for constant and furious fights.
1556 - the venerable jeweler and sculptor is once again imprisoned for fighting (in between there were exile and imprisonment for fighting, murder and stealing of jewels). It is boring in prison, and Benvenuto Cellini begins to write memoirs.
It is an amazing fact, because usually, people say, "It is there time for a creative person to behave disgracefully? He has so many things to do!"
Cellini managed to do everything: create, fight, seduce, drink, kill, create again, make trouble, drag mistresses' hair, and then vividly and vividly describe all this in his memoirs.
At times, he was not afraid of God or the devil, at times he was superstitious, was fond of magic, participated in the collective summoning of spirits, had mystical visions, in general - he did not deny himself anything.
At the same time, many of his work did not preserve. Well, judge for yourself, what is the chance that the works of the jeweler of the XVI century could live to the present day? In an era when goldsmiths were given gold coins to make jewelry, and they could also melt the most beautiful works of art when the nobles did not have enough money. The famous salt-cellar of King Francis the First is almost the only Benvenuto jewelry piece created by him. In addition, there were a few medals and coins, sketches of fasteners for Pope Clement VII. The rest was melted down.
By the way, it is believed that Cellini depicted himself in the image of Neptune on the salt-cellar.
In general, he liked to portray himself, and at times in a very strange way. Although there is a completely traditional self-portrait drawing. Nevertheless, take a look at the bust of the Grand Duke Tuscan Cosimo I Medici. It may seem that there is nothing strange in it. And now look at the right shoulder.
On the shoulder, there is a grotesque self-portrait of Cellini. When looking at him, you immediately remember that one of the nicknames of the jeweler and sculptor was the nickname “Diabolo”, which he was very proud of. Still, this was not the only joke of the sculptor. Look at the magnificent Perseus of his work. Everyone knows the Greek myth: the hero Perseus with the head of Medusa the Gorgon, whose gaze turned people to stone, and snakes moved instead of hair on her head. Although it was not Medusa’s fault that she became a monster, it took a hero to save people who were dying from it.
The statue is beautiful. Perseus is beautiful. At the same time, the sculptor did not forget to sign his creation - on the belt of Perseus.
Even in this image full of tragedy full, Cellini managed to make his self-portrait. Even two self-portraits. Look at the back of Perseus. His helmet is also a kind of self-portrait Cellini. This is the sense of humor he had.
However, there is also quite a traditional image of the sculptor. In the niches of the Perseus pedestal heroes of the myth are depicted, and among them, there is Jupiter. In the image of Jupiter, Benvenuto Cellini also portrayed himself.
It is a pity, but not all the sculptures of Cellini survived. Bronze, too, sometimes it was melted down. For the most part, the sculptor’s works are in Florence. There is also the famous relief "Nymph of Fontainebleau." Do you remember that it amazed Francis I in the Duma’s work? Initially, the relief was in the castle of Fontainebleau, now it is the Louvre.
The Crucifixion by Cellini is located in Spain - in Escorial. It was the last monumental creation of the sculptor. In marble. However, it suffered from the actions of the vandal. It happened in the XIX century.